Richard Childress Racing
March 18, 2012
Elliott Sadler Outdrives Competition for Victory at Bristol Motor Speedway
"It is very special to me to win here. Of all of my NASCAR victories, my parents have never been here to celebrate in Victory Lane."
Start - 4
Finish - 1
Laps Led - 36
Points Position - 1
Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial team earned their second victory of the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season on Saturday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway. Sadler took the green flag from the second row, but was shuffled back in traffic to the fifth position in the opening laps of the race. The Emporia, Va., driver reported to crew chief Luke Lambert he felt like he was using the right rear tire too much, and the OneMain Financial crew utilized a pit stop under caution on lap 104 to add four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to alleviate the problem. The quick stop helped the No. 2 Chevrolet exit pit road in the fourth position, then jetted into second as the race restarted. Sadler communicated that the Chevrolet was becoming a tight as he drove into the center of the turn, and Lambert called the driver down pit road on lap 158 for four tires and fuel. The team exited in sixth as every car ahead took only two tires, restarting the race on lap 163. Sadler continued to turn quick laps, gunning down the leaders through lap traffic. Spotter Brett Griffin told the driver to “set sail” on lap 234, as he passed RCR teammate Kevin Harvick for the fourth position. With 50 laps to go, Sadler worked his way into the third position, relentlessly pushing toward the final two cars. He was able to move into the second position on lap 260, and a caution came out four laps later. Lambert called for the Sadler to pit only if the lead car did not come to pit road. As the leader came down pit road, Lambert instructed Sadler to stay out, placing him in the first position to restart the race. With 28 laps remaining, Sadler chose the outside line to take the green flag to push to the lead. Increasing his lead by more than 1.5 seconds over the final laps, Sadler did not relinquish the position, taking the checkered flag for the second time this season. Sadler remains the leader of the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, 25 points ahead of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTE:
“I love this place (Bristol Motor Speedway) and look forward to coming here each time. We were watching the highlights of my last victory here in 1998 and my crew chief, Luke Lambert said ‘Hey, I think I was 18 when this happened,’ so it shows how long it has been since we have won here. It is very special to me to win here. Of all of my NASCAR victories, my parents have never been here to celebrate in Victory Lane. This means a lot to me and my family for them to be here. The way we did it was awesome. Luke made a great call to stay out. I will be honest, I was second guessing it until Luke said something that triggered a spark in me. He said, ‘Elliott, you’ve done this before here. You’ve won in this position here at Bristol in 2001,’ and I was like ‘Doggon, you are right.’ It worked out great with a great call by Luke, and with a great car all day, it worked out for this OneMain Financial team.”